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The History of the Cash Management Trust

May 15th, 2009 at 04:35 am

A cash management trust is an investment vehicle that provides returns for investors by buying into short-term liquid assets such as interest bearing securities and bank bills. The concept was first introduced in Australia in 1980 by the Macquarie Bank and became a popular means of investing due to the soaring interest rates.

Previous to this it was only those investors who had hundreds of thousand of dollars to invest who could use a cash management trust for investing. Nowadays cash management trusts are available to investors with just a few thousand dollars as their money is pooled with many others - as it is with other kinds of managed investments.

The cash management trust is suited to investors who prefer low risk, liquidity and capital security. There are attractive returns and the investors have ready access to their funds and a regular savings plan.

Management fees and costs incurred by the investors are expressed as a percentage of the fund’s net asset value, but this does not include brokerage costs. As with all other investments, those wishing to take advantage of a cash management trust should research carefully to make sure it is suited to their needs.

Types of investment products

March 17th, 2009 at 07:11 am

There are several different types of investment products on the market and to choose one to suit you, your needs and goals must be thought through carefully. Most stable investments should be for the long term, that is 5 years or more - more is better.
Perhaps the most popular investment product would be superannuation. This is because of the tax savings that are significant and also the fact that the government will add more money for free if you salary sacrifice up to a certain amount. There is a limit, of course, but it is certainly worth the effort. Superannuation can be DIY (do-it-yourself) or done for you. The latter option is the easiest, though many people like the idea of DIY.
Other investment products that are easy to get into are those such as managed funds offered by banks or other financial institutions. All you need to do is create the account and have a minimum deposit in it. Because the money is pooled with that of other investors, these let you diversify your investments a great deal more than if you were investing on your own. Diversification is another word for safety, in investing. But since banks need to make money out of these investments too, your share may not be as significant as if you were doing your own investing. It will, however be safer - so long as you choose the safe option.
A term deposit is an investment product of a simpler kind. Here you simply park your money for your chosen time and then get paid a good interest rate on it when the maturity date rolls around. Even a savings account could be considered an investment product, though the rate of return on most is usually not significant.
A more complex investment product is sometimes quite difficult to understand. All investment products should come with a disclosure statement that tells you how your money will be invested, what returns will be generated and in what way they will be paid to you. If you cannot understand anything that is in the statement, you should seek the advice of a professional or else don’t go ahead with it.
You need to know if you can get your money back early if necessary and if so, what fees apply. If you want to sell your investment, is there a ready market that enables you to do so? And it is wise to choose a product that is issued by a person or company that holds an Australian Financial Services license.
Remember that the better the expected return on your investment is, the higher the risk is likely to be.

Sprint or Marathon - It's Your Call

August 19th, 2008 at 07:26 am

Investing and saving money is rather like running a race. The two types of running races are basically, a sprint or a marathon. Training for each one is approached in a different way. The marathon runner needs to have endurance training and settle in for the long haul when he runs. The sprinter needs immediate speed and the power to sustain it for a shorter time. In either case the winner gets a gold medal.

When investing, we need to have a certain goal and that will determine whether we run a sprint or a marathon with our investing. The sprint means that you will get a fast return in a shorter time frame. The marathon goal means that you settle in for the long haul with your goals - returns - being several years or more down the track. The type of investment you choose must reflect your goal. And just as an athlete can choose whether he runs in a sprint or marathon, you too, can choose the type of investment you want; a quick return for a higher risk, or a slow return for a safer investment.

But you can get the best of both worlds if you choose a safe savings account with a high interest rate.

Unlike purchasing stocks or shares, there is very little risk with a savings account. The investor who wants a quick return will choose a product that gives him the

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highest interest rate. He will make sure that interest is credited monthly so that he can take advantage of compound interest - that is, after the first month he gets paid interest on his interest. Watching those finances creep - or rocket - ever closer to your goal is as exciting as watching the athletes run their races in the Olympics. In fact it is even more exciting because it affects you personally.

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Managing a Cash Crisis

July 8th, 2008 at 02:13 am

Unfortunately, cash crises happen more than they should; let's face it, once is too much. The best thing to do in a cash crisis is to act without delay. The very first thing you need to do is get down to business and draw up a credible plan of management. Don't wait until the creditors are pounding on your door. Schedule meetings with them before the money runs out completely. Then you can help them focus on what they will get, rather than what they will miss out on.

Get help from an accountant and draw up a plan to show your creditors what you are going to do about your cash crisis. While the assessment should be realistic, you don't want it to be so gloomy that investors and creditors panic and refuse to supply the goods you need.

At the same time, never promise something that you won't be able to deliver. If things are bad now, they are not likely to improve any time soon - at least not without hard work. But if you promise stuff that you can't and don't deliver on, then you will destroy that bit of hope and trust that is left. If you can still make a small payment on bills that you owe, it demonstrates good faith on your part and makes creditors feel you can be trusted.

Once you have the meetings set up, behave in an appropriate manner. If you go in biting your nails and looking harassed, it won't exactly inspire confidence. But if you tell them straight out what the problem is and then present a reasonable plan to fix it, then that will be more likely to inspire trust. While you do need to be honest, it's not necessary to reveal absolutely everything - especially if that would prevent your suppliers from dealing with you again. Balance is the key; the problems of the present must be balanced with the hope for the future. In this way you will be able to manage your cash crisis and hopefully, learn from it for the future.